Dodgers defense falls flat in loss to Padres, 7-3

KEY MOMENT: The Dodgers were let down by their supposedly improved defense, which committed three errors. The last one was the most damaging. Catcher Yasmani Grandal fielded a ninth-inning bunt by Cory Spangenberg, only to make an errant throw to first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. Clint Barmes advanced to third base on the play, which allowed him to score easily on Wil Myers' single against Chris Hatcher and move the Padres in front, 4-3. The Padres added three runs that inning, two on a double by Derek Norris and one on a single by Will Middlebrooks. Craig Kimbrel closed out the victory for the Padres with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.

AT THE PLATE: Gonzalez accounted for the Dodgers' three runs, including a solo home run in the eighth inning to tie the score, 3-3. He doubled in Yasiel Puig in the sixth and scored on a single by Howie Kendrick to give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead.

ON THE MOUND: Zack Greinke gave up a run in the first inning, when left fielder Carl Crawford misread a ball and turned a would-be single by Justin Upton into a run-scoring triple. Greinke held the Padres scoreless and hitless over the next five innings. An error by shortstop Jimmy Rollins allowed the Padres to tie the score, 2-2. Rollins missed a seventh-inning popup by Yangervis Solarte, permitting Yonder Alonso to score. The left-handed-hitting Alonso moved the Padres in front in the eighth inning, 3-2, when his line-drive single to left field off left-hander J.P. Howell drove in Derek Norris.

EXTRA BASES: The start of the game was delayed by 30 minutes because of rain. … Scott Baker, who was released by the New York Yankees at the end of spring training and recently signed with the Dodgers, was selected the opening-day starter for triple-A Oklahoma City. By pitching Thursday, Baker would be lined up to make a spot start in place of the sidelined Hyun-Jin Ryu on April 14.

UP NEXT: Brandon McCarthy (10-15, 4.05 ERA in 2014) will face the Padres right-hander Andrew Cashner (5-7, 2.55) on Wednesday at Dodger Stadium at 7 p.m. On the air: TV: SportsNet LA. Radio: 570, 1020.

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